Cheese and Tomato Pinwheels are a quick and easy recipe! With crispy flaky pastry, sauce that oozes yum and melted gooey cheese, they make the perfect appetizer! These Cheese and Tomato Scrolls can be made in the oven or Air Fryer and are positively delicious.
Be it the cheese, simple ingredient combo, hot fresh from the oven factor or vegetarian yum, I have summarised a few reasons why you will love this recipe.
- Quick, easy and simple cooking steps
- Kid friendly, Family Friendly
- Only 4 ingredients needed
- Appetizer, snack, game day or party food, you decide
- Fuss free, effortless, can be made in a hurry, minimal prep needed
- Serve hot or cold
- Suitable for all ages
- Can be cooked by all skill levels
- Easy to modify adding additional ingredients
- Simply increase quantity of ingredients to make more scrolls
The 4 simple ingredients you need are shown in the photo below. Scroll to the recipe card for exact measurements and detailed instructions.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Store bought puff pastry: this is such a versatile ingredient to have in your freezer. Be it sweet or savory, it does the trick. We need to thaw it, so you can either leave it in the fridge over night or on the bench as you prepare the rest of the ingredients. It will take 5 - 10 mins to thaw.
- Tomato Paste: This thick, rich sauce is ideal for our scrolls as whilst it oozes a little bit, it doesn't oozy as much as regular tomato sauce.
- Tasty cheese: a variety of options here. You can use cheddar, mozzarella, light or tasty. This is the cheese that we are using in our scrolls. We are also going to use some cheese on top of them, because you can never (ever) have too much cheese!
- Parmesan cheese: known for being a sharp, bold cheese with bite. This is a great ingredient to use as a sprinkling on top of the scrolls before we make them. It provides a great depth of flavour to the cheese in the scrolls and I recommend the grated version with strongest flavour.
Top Tip 1: Tomato paste has a thicker consistency than tomato sauce or ketch-up. It is ideal to use in these scrolls as we don't want to insides to flow out (too much) when we are cutting prior to cooking.
Here are the steps to make the pinwheels. We start by preparing the pastry. You will need a chopping board and butter knife.
- Lay thawed puff pastry onto chopping board (Photo 1)
- Spread with tomato paste (Photo 2)
- Sprinkle over the cheese layer (Photo 3)
- Roll tightly and wrap in cling wrap (Photo 4)
Frozen pastry will crack if you try to roll it. Thawed pastry is more flexible and can easily be rolled. Ensure your pastry has defrosted enough to roll with ease.
Once you have done the sauce and cheese layers, start at one edge and toll (tightly) to form a long log. Wrap this in cling wrap (glad wrap) and freeze for 30 mins to 1hr. It will allow us to cut the pinwheels without them turning to mush.
Top Tip 2: Don't spread the sauce all the way to the edges of pastry. Keep an approximate .5-1cm plain border.
- Remove rolled pastry from freezer and chop into portions (Photo 5)
- Place on oiled baking mat (Photo 6)
- Sprinkle scrolls with parmesan cheese (Photo 7)
- Cook for 15 - 20 mins on the middle rack in the oven (Photo 8)
It can get a bit messy when you are cutting the pastry roll (Photo 5). This will depend on how 'full' your scrolls are. You can wipe the excess sauce off the knife in between cuts.
Top Tip 3: If the scrolls are loosening and opening when you have cut them simply squeeze/push back together when placing on the baking mat (Photo 6)
Cheese Tomato Pinwheels
You can also use your Air Fryer to cook the scrolls.
Simply follow the steps above then instead of transferring to the baking mat, place on baking paper in Air Fryer. Use the same temperature and check on scrolls after 10 mins (The Air Fryer is notoriously faster to cook all things).
Top Tip 4: When the scrolls look like they are done, turn the oven (or Air Fryer) off but leave the scrolls inside. Allow them to cool down in the hot space. They will reabsorb the wet cheese/sauce mixture and crisp up as they cool.
The scrolls are such an easy appetizer and are likely to fly off the plate!
Before serving simply add some chopped fresh herbs (basil/parsley) and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Blink twice at the party and you will miss them!
Better still, they can be made the day ahead and serve (cold or heated) when the guests (or unexpected visitors) arrive!
These are savoury party food that will be enjoyed by all!
At the end of the day, these work for kids (big and little), a quick snack or ready for a crowd.
You can switch up the ingredients to make them more lunch box like than snack like or increase the quantity you are making to feed more mouths!
Substitutions and Variations
There is barely a limit to the variations and substitutions that can be done to this recipe with many kind ofs of yum on offering. You might like to try:
- Adding a sprinkle if dried Italian Herbs
- Doing a prosciutto layer
- Using sun dried tomato pesto instead of tomato paste
- Add ham, bacon or salami.
- Use cream cheese as its own layer
- Use pizza sauce and dried herbs for pizza style pinwheels
- Make a spinach and feta combination
- Make a sweet and savory option (chocolate scrolls)
How to Guide
How to Store
The pinwheels are best store in a sealed air tight container.
They will last for up to 3 days.
The longer they are kept, the better they are reheated prior to consumption.
How to Freeze
As we used frozen pastry and then refroze for a little bit whilst making the recipe, it is best to cook the scrolls, allow to cool and then freeze.
Ensure the scrolls are sealed in an air tight container or wrapped in cling flim. they can be frozen for up to 1 month.
How to Reheat
Simply place into the oven or Air Fryer for 3- 5 mins till heated through. They will reheat quickly and the pastry will get crispy again.
Bear in mind that if you use the microwave to reheat the scrolls, it is unlikely that the pastry will be flaky the same way it is via the oven or Air Fryer.
Top Tips and Tricks
Here are my top tips that I want to share with you so you get the recipe recipe right and the pin wheels are cooked to perfection:
- Grab the puff pastry out as the very 1st step (or defrost overnight) so it is thawed and ready to use.
- Use baking paper, a baking mat or spray oil to ensure the pinwheels don't stick to the baking tray.
- Don't go all the way to the edges with the sauce and cheese, keep a small border so the ingredients don't ooze out.
- Wrap the pastry as tight as you can and then in cling wrap before placing in the freezer for 30 mins - 1 hour. This will make cutting easier.
- If any of the pinwheels open as you cut the roll, simply squeeze them, roll back together from the sides.
- Once they are cooked, leave them in the oven (turn it off) so that they cool in the warm of the oven. This allows the pastry to crisp up a little.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you pre make pinwheels?
Yes, one of the best thing's about this recipe is that the pinwheels can be made in advance.
What do you put on a pinwheel?
Pinwheels are versatile and lend themselves to many sweet and savory options.
Some ingredients to consider are ham, cheese, cooked bacon, vegemite, pesto, herbs, prosciutto, feta, pepperoni, salami and cream cheese!
How do I keep pinwheels from getting soggy?
If you overload the pinshwheels with sauce or you undercook them, they will go soggy.
You can avoid this, by not using too much sauce as well as leaving them in the oven (not moving them off the baking mat) until they have cooled.
Can you freeze cheese and tomato pinwheels?
Yes, you can freeze pinwheels.
As the pastry has thawed it is best to cook the pinwheels, allow them to cool and then freeze for up to 1 month.
Heating prior to consuming is recommended as it will ensure the contents is warmed through and the pastry returning to be crispy and flaky.
Do you refrigerate pinwheels?
It is a good idea to keep pinwheels in the fridge after baking.
Simply store them in a sealed air tight container for up to 3 days.
More Savory Appetisers
If you are a party foods, snacks and appetizers are a few of your favourite things, you might like to try one or all of the following recipes:
- Mini Quiches
- Easy Sausage Rolls
- Air Fryer Fish Fingers (Fish Sticks)
- Easy Crostini
- Fun Air Fryer Mini Hot Dogs
- Air Fryer Mini Corn Dogs
- Spicy Air Fryer Stuffed Jalapenos
But of course, it is not a party with only savory or sweet, so try including a little of both!
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Cheese and Tomato Pinwheels (Cheese and Tomato Scrolls)
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Knife
- Cling Wrap
- 1 Spoon
- 1 Silicon Baking Mat
- 1 Cooling rack
- 1 Butter Knife
- 2 sheets puff pastry thawed
- ⅓ cup tomato paste Note 2
- 1 cup tasty cheese Note 3
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese Note 4
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Remove puff pastry from freezer and leave on bench (or in fridge over night) to thaw.
- Place thawed sheet of puff pastry onto chopping board.
- Use a butter knife to spread a layer of tomato paste across pastry, keeping approximately 1 cm from each of the 4 edges.
- Top the tomato layer for a layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Starting at the bottom, roll the pastry by pulling towards you and down. Keep the roll as tight as you can. Wrap rolled pastry in cling wrap and place in freezer for 30 mins to 1 hour.
- Remove pastry roll from freezer and discard cling wrap. Use a sharp knife and discard excess pastry at each end. Slice the remaining roll into small 1 cm portions.
- Spray a silicon baking mat with cooking spray.
- Place each pin wheel scroll side on on baking mat. Lightly spray all scrolls with cooking oil.
- Place baking tray into the oven (middle rack) and cook for 15 - 20 mins. The cheese will melt and scrolls will turn a light golden colour.
- Once they appear to be cooked, turn the oven off, but leave the scrolls in there for approximately 5 mins. Note 5
- Remove baking tray from the oven using an oven mit.
- Use a flat based utensil to gently slide each pin wheel from the baking mat to the cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly before consuming.
- Note 1 The pastry will crack if you try and use it before it has thawed. Allow it to soften and then it will be flexible and easy to work with.
- Note 2 Tomato Paste is much thicker than tomato sauce. It is a concentrate and is less watery making it idea to use as it doesn't flow out of the pastry as easily.
- Note 3 You can use cheddar, tasty, light or mozzarella or pizza cheese. The difference across these will be minimal.
- Note 4 The parmesan cheese gives us a lovely crispy top to the pinwheels and has a different taste and texture to the inner layer of melted cheese.
- Note 5 The pinwheels will crisp up as they cool. So by leaving them in the oven (turn it off), they have a chance to cool and crisp and will be easier to remove from the baking mat to cooling rack.